Here At The End Of All Things
Here At The End Of All Things
Arc: Strange Bedfellows
Summary: The Majestic is sent to clean out a Kilrathi mining base in the Rygannon system. While they were clearing the escorts, and just before the marines were about to land, the pilots and marines get ordered to recall back to the carrier… and on the way back, get treated to the sight of Majestic's escorts just annihilating the asteroid base by orbital bombardment. Upon landing, they were gathered up and told that a Kilrathi offensive had recaptured numerous systems in the sector, and they were now well behind the front lines of the war.
Date: 2659.087
Related Logs: None
Participants: Paz Victoria Veritas James Draygo Kanani Walsh

Kanani grumbles to herself as one of the cats gets a lucky shot in, and scratches the armor on her wing. On the other hand, the results from her first shot are pleasantly surprising, as one kitty is vaporized. "That'll teach him." She mutters, before she switches her sights towards a Sartha aiming for the transport, though when she notices the Drakhri on her tail, she focuses more on avoiding more damage.

Tori grins at Tizona, as their combined attack toasts one of the Drakhri. « Just a little bit of understatement there, Tizona. Be careful out there. » Not as if Paz doesn't already know that. of course, one of the Sarthas decide they don't much like Tori, but she targets on another of the Drakhri, since they're still liking Veri a little too much. « I hear you, Kitten. We got one for you. Let's see if we can't peel off another. Fox in the Hole. » She heads right after the Drakhri, and as soon as she gets a clean shot, she fires her second dumbfire.

Veritas pulls to the side as one, then a second Kilrathi missed him. A third one barely scratches his paint and he opens up full guns on the one in front of him. While he does minimal damage the cat dodges and runs into the fire of one of his wingmates, blowing up real nice. "So do I get to count that as an assist?"

Walsh enters visual range, better late than never. «Ozone reporting in. Thought they were never gonna clear me.» Taking a quick look at his display, he adds: «Looks like you were good enough to leave me something, too! Engaging.»

The second exchange of fire is no less lethal than the first for the Kilrathi, leaving a single badly-damaged Kilrathi fighter suddenly looking rather terribly alone in the world. The Crete levels out for a moment, beginning its approach towards the station's main docking bay… quickly joined by the Bastogne and the Arnhem, as Majestic's marines move in for the assault.

Vidscreens abruptly flicker to life with the image of Majestic's bridge, which has turned into quite a scene of chaos. While the screen remains focused on the communications officer, there's silence from his end for a long moment. Snippets of chatter from the background can be heard instead, voices speaking in a quick, worried tone.
"Can we confirm the relay from the Baden-Powell?"
"Yes Captain, it all checks out"
"Christ, isn't this a clusterf…"
"Stow it Ensign. Comms, were you waiting for an invitation or what?"

« Majestic to all craft. Abort. I repeat, Abort. All fighters and landing craft to disengage and return immediately. »

Tori is the far side of the kitty from the Majestic, but she certainly hears that command. « We Still have one Drakhri, command, » she calls out, switching to her guns and firing at the kitty in passing as she heads back towards Majestic. « Flight, this is Queen. We have return to base command so reign in, and let's head home. » Whatever that lone little kitty ends up doing, well, that's its problem.

«Queen, Tizona, copy that, I'm on your wing, just in case.» Tizona reports, frowning sharply as she's recalled to the Majestic before getting another shot at the enemy after too-long a downtime.

«Razor to Control, check that last comm? I don't think we received it correctly, we seem to have comm trouble here, wait one Mike.» Razor chimes in over the comm as the orders come in from central which is very odd, since they have the Kilrathi on the run, the transport safely escorted and what not. Kell does switch over to his Particle Cannons since they have longer range, fly faster, and do more damage than Mass Drivers as he moves to Queen's wing, assisting her with the shot to take out the last Kilrathi fighter before following with the same maneuver, very puzzled.

«Well, doesn't that just take the cake.» Kanani remarks, before her fighter starts to turn back towards the Majestic. Unlike some of the others, she doesn't bother with a parting shot at the cat, deciding that if anyone's going to get in trouble this time, it won't be her.

Veritas isn't about to leave his wing behind, seeing everyone lined up for the kill he banks to a position to cover them from above on overwatch.

James shakes his head slightly at the orders and opens his commlink making sure it's power setting is too low to reach the carrier, «Anyone wondering if the enemy has managed to hack our comms? The orders we just got make no sense at all.» He then joins most of the others in firing on the lone kitty before looping back towards the Majestic.

In standard fashion, Walsh charges into the fray on full burn, approaching close enough to convince the casual observer of his insanity. At the last moment, he hits the trigger, followed by a violent swing on the stick to avoid becoming a projectile himself.

Imminent collision averted, he looks back over his shoulder to survey his handiwork. A nice line of impacts on the target's hull leave him suitably satisfied.

He's just preparing for another attack run when his comms crackle to life. «What's this shit? Abort? Now?» Walsh isn't having any of it, while this cat's still on the prowl.

The last Kilrathi fighter is battered by gunfire from the Confederation fighters who are a bit reluctant to break off, but skillful maneuvering keeps the pilot from sustaining any hits solid enough to destroy the craft. The marine transports, at least, seem convinced enough of the importance of the order… turning around and charging back for the carrier as quickly as their engines will carry them.

When the Majestic's comms click back on, it's the Captain himself rather than just the communications officer. « Majestic to all craft, get the hell out of there. » Apparently, the order is a bit more blunt this time. « We've got bigger problems to deal with than this piece of rock. Captain Cradock over on the Salamis has been given orders to just glass the thing, and you don't want to be nearby when that happens. We'll explain when you land. »

Even as the comms fall silent once more, in the distance the main batteries of the Majestic's cruiser escort train on the rock once more. Where the earlier barrage had been precise and neatly aimed, this time the cruiser seems intent on unleashing its full fury on the rock, a steady stream of explosions bursting across the surface of the asteroid as fast as the Salamis' AMGs can cycle.

«Queen, Tizona, eh, not to be rude, sir, but I really would like to not get vaporized tonight.» Paz sighs into her comms. «Majestic Approach, this is Tizona, turning onto the assigned approach vector. ETA, one minute.» she calls out to the ship before pointing her nose back towards home.

« Flight, you heard the captain. All ships, retreat to the majestic. » Tori sort of blinks at Tizona's comment, though all she says is « More retreating, less chatter, Tizona. » Since Tori's initial reaction was to tell everyone to head for Majestic, only firing on her way by, she's a little perplexed. In any event, she hits her afterburners and high-tails it for Majestic now, without worrying about the lone little kilrathi Drakhri. Hopefully that won't come back to bite them later.

«Majestic, this is Tsunami, requesting landing clearance.» Kanani radios out, having already been closer to the carrier than the rest since she followed orders. To the rest of the flight she says, «Wonder just what trouble they've found this time, that's got them worried.»

Since the Captain himself is the one that gave the orders, Kell reluctantly makes his way back towards the boat as he goose his afterburners since the return order does seem rather important. Now his mind is also wondering what the heck is going on, they basically had the last Kilrathi dead and this rock captured in very easy fashion, then the whole thing goes all bizarro galaxy on them. «I swear, it better not be another Perry.» Or worse, the Confederacy somehow has lost Perry again after they fought so hard and long for it.

James makes sure his comm is off before muttering several curses mostly aimed at a certain admiral who he's sure has something to do with this screwup. As he approaches the carrier he opens a commline «Culass requesting landing instructions.» his tone making it very clear that he's pissed.

Veritas waits till Tori and the others have broken contact before taking up position on rear guard heading back to the carrier without comment. Well then again, what would Kitten be without comment, "Tizona get your cute little rear in gear, I like watching it shake but I'd rather do it on the flight deck, especially if our ride is about to leave without us."

While trying his hardest to collide with Kilrathi class is pretty much his M.O., Walsh isn't so keen on doing the same with a volley of antimatter. And since the orders come from the captain this time, not some other piss-ant ruining his fun he has little choice but to comply. «Alright. Guess kitty here just caught a break.» He says this with a fair amount of bitterness. «Ozone turnin' and burnin'»

The scene inside the Vidroom is one of organized chaos. Aside from the few officers left standing watch on the bridge, and a handful of fighters ordered to remain on combat patrol, the majority of Majestic's officers seem to have been herded in here. Including the pilots who just landed, and a handful of rather grumpy looking marine officers still in their assault gear. As tends to happen with such gatherings, the room is abuzz with chatter from small clusters of officers speculating about just what the catastrophe of the day is. The captain stands up front, looking rather terribly sober as he waits for the last few people to file in. "Everyone, shut up and grab a seat" is the simple order given to the room.

Tori's Rapier is not so far behind, even if they did give that kitty a few more wounds to lick on the way in. The pilots in their flight suits, marines in their assault gear, and navy guys all up in arms - the place is just nuts with confused officers, for sure. She glances around, spies a group of unoccupied seats, and slides into one, leaving the others for her Flight, should they choose to sit nearby.

Not taking the time to get out of his flight suit, Kell stows his flight equipment though and makes his way at a hurried pace to the Vidroom, wanting to get there before it fills up and at least try to find a good spot where if something is being shown, he can at least see it. "They better have a good reason pulling us out, we just vaped a whole squadron of Kilrathi and was about to nail the last bastard." Razor grumbles, none too pleased though he does take a look around at those assembled especially focused on the group of Marine Officers who are still in gear, as if trying to catch a specific familiar face before he turns his attention to the Captain who spoke up, taking a seat as ordered.

Kanani makes her way to the vidroom, still wearing her flight suit, as she looks around, and tries to find herself a spot to sit down. Once that's taken care of she waits to see what all the fuss is about now.

James remembers the last time a meeting like this occurred all too well and makes his way towards one of the seats which Tori has saved. He whispers something to Tori once he takes his seat in a resigned tone. That done he turns his attention to the front and lets one hand slip into one of his flight suit's pockets to brush against his lucky charm.

Walsh storms into the vidroom, still in flight suit like the other pilots, and visibly none-too-pleased. He finds a seat with the rest of the flight and tries his hardest not to grind his teeth or the armrest into dust.

Paz slips into the vidroom, stretching and grumbling to herself as she tosses her flight helmet onto the seat next to her. "Okay, what the hell was all that?"

Veritas comes in last, behind Paz, his flight suit is half unzipped in the front to let some air in but otherwise everything is as it was in the cockpit. He takes a seat placing the helmet next to him on the chair.

Valdis is here! Really! Third grumpy marine to the left, hiding in amongst all the tall ones. Apparently, someone forgot to tell her that she wasn't really supposed to be here. Or maybe they just weren't paying all that much attention in the shuffle.

"I'm sure right now most of you are confused as hell," the Captain begins his explanation, pausing for a brief moment at that. "And rightly so. But our mission here has changed. One hour and twenty-three minutes ago, we received a tight-beam transmission from the Winterrowd that the Kilrathi were launching a major offensive into Tingerhoff, Perry, and Nexus. Thirty seven minutes ago, we received a message from the Winterrowd that they'd been cut off from the Perry jump and were falling back through Nexus to Junction, due to heavy damage. The corvette TCS William Clark was assigned to keep the relay open. Thirty-one minutes ago, we received a final transmission from the William Clark. You'll note those locations now place us at a minimum of three jumps on the wrong side of the border. Possibly more. We don't know where the Kilrathi advance has been stopped… if it has been stopped. Or what specific force they came in with. What we do know is that we now have a very long trip home ahead of us." There's a moment's pause to let that sink in.

Tori gives James a quick look, with sympathy. Been there done that, but she doesn't reply verbally. She snerks at Draygo, as what the Captain says filters in. "I think that qualifies, Razor. Sounds to me like we might just be behind enemy lines. Which - might not be a fun spot, all things considered." She is mentally cursing, but outwardly calm. Icy even.

"Just like old times." Kanani mutters at the news, and shakes her head slightly. Settling in her chair more to listen if there's any more news that the Captain has to tell.

"Great.." Paz sighs, deflating a little. "I should've known this was all going just a little too much our way," she notes to whoever's nearest to hear her. "No way the Fuzzy Wuzzies were giving up Gemini this easily."

"I swear, if we lost Perry just after we got it…" Kell grumbles as he shakes his head at Tori, obviously not pleased with the announcement as the new sinks in, "Well, bright side is that I'm sure we'll be in a target rich environment once more." This isn't the first time he's been behind enemy lines though it's something he doesn't voice, not sure if that Special Ops mission has been declassified or not.

Valdis is really starting to wish she hadn't showed up to this meeting. Ignorance is bliss, right? She remains quiet in her seat, shifting a little nervously as she listens. Then again, with what's just been announced, being worried makes a little sense.

James says, "You have got to be kidding! What were the forces guarding Tingerhoff doing sleeping with no one on alert duty? All they had to do was hold one jump point to keep the system in our hands once we took Palan. Perry would be harder but they should have held out longer than this."

"Those furry fuckin'…" Walsh mutters. "Undo all our good work, -and- cut us off!?" He halts his tirade to give the armrest a good pounding. "Yeah. What -was- everyone else doing? — Here ya go -Kitty, Sir- enjoy your new real-estate."

"I'm not going to lie to you all" The Captain informs the group simply. "We've found ourselves in a pretty bad spot. Tactical's still trying to figure out what our best way out of this is, once we get back through Xytani and Palan. We're not sure if the Kilrathi are really aware what our strength and position is, and we're going to do our best to keep them guessing. What we do know for certain is that getting back home means fighting through at least three hostile systems of Kilrathi. Which means we're going to have to be smart with our resources, and pick our fights. That's why your operation today was cancelled. We can no longer afford to lose anyone for a hunk of rock which we can't hope to hold. For those of you who didn't get the transmission, the Salamis has been ordered to destroy the asteroid base here. Once that's accomplished we'll be heading back for the jump to Xytani. Until we've got a better handle on things, don't do anything that'll render you unfit for duty. First and Last has already been informed to lock up all the booze."

Wait. No booze. Oh, that's going to lead to some very annoyed personnel, to say the least. Tori takes a breath, but doesn't say anything more. Stay fit for duty, that's a definite, but perhaps now she's not so upset that there've been changes in some of the assignments making for longer distance relationships than not. "This is going to hurt," is all she murmurs though.

"Well, so much for consoling myself in the traditional fashion." Paz smirks, chuckling softly. "So, lemme see if I've got this straight, sir. We're at the corner of 'Rock' and 'Hard Place', unknown enemy strength or disposition, and three jump points that, if the Fuzzy Wuzzies have half a brain, and as much as it pains me to admit it, they do, are probably going to be locked up tighter than frog's assholes, and those are water tight." she states, ticking off the points on her right hand. "That about the size of it, Captain?"

Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?!?! Kell's eyes widen in surprise when the announcement has been made that the booze has been locked out. Now either he will be torping this ship or go on a Kilrathi killing rampage until they free themselves of this trapped situation. After calming down a little, Kell does raise his hand for a question, "Does that mean we'll be doing more combat aerospace patrols in force rather than in small numbers or solo recon patrols? And if we encounter the Kilrathi and can beat them, we kill them all so no one can flee to feed them information on our strength and numbers?" That may mean having the engineers fit jammers on their fast fighters and whatnot.

Valdis slumps in her chair at the latest bit of news… whether it's about the booze, or the particular nastiness of the situation, she's not letting on. Nope, she's just staying all quiet-like and looking more depressed about this whole situation by the moment. Here she was hoping for some good news for a change.

James says "I don't think now is really a good time to lock the booze up." softly before continuing "Annnd part of me is happy that Chassidy transferred off before this clusterfuck but part of me wishes she was still here. I'm sure that we'll need her help before this one is through."

"Aw now they're just taking the piss!" Walsh grumbles, followed by a pained sigh when he realizes he just made a -really- bad pun. "Give us news like that and strip our booze? Is the plan to have us kill each other!?" Well, there goes his plans for later…

The Captain looks along towards Kell and nods slightly. "Part of the time. What it means is you're going to see quite a few different looks out of our formation, most likely. We'll be cycling the escorts through remote and detached duty to try and keep the Kilrathi guessing about just what's out here. Flying formations of varying sizes, matching up fighters with the capitals at some points and keeping them out on wide-ranging sweeps at others. Anything that helps to keep them as confused as we are right now."

Listening to the Captain's answer, Kell nods slightly as he taps his chin with a finger, apparently feeling that the tactic would be for the best, especially if the hidden elements can swing in for a flanking pincer attack on forces they wish to crush after the main bait element does a feinting retreat. "Shooting to kill, sounds good. On the bright side, we may get lucky and hit the Kilrathi's rear if they have their main front in Perry and Junction…" Though he still isn't pleased about losing Perry after such a long, drawn out fight. "Damn, wish I was on some beach resort for R&R right now." He mutters quietly to no one in particular though those nearby could hear him.

"And supplies are going to be tight, so we'll be repairing instead of replacing. Sir, are we already locating possible raid locations, in case we need to pick up food, water or even parts?" She is jumping a bit ahead, but the logistics is going to be a nightmare. She's in agreement with the rest of the pilots. What the heck happened behind them?! She glances towards those starting to whine about the alcohol, but just makes mental notes for now.

"Tactical's working up the options as we speak" The Captain replies to Tori with a little nod. "But some of that we're going to have to deal with as the situation evolves. Any place worth hitting for us is worth occupying for the Kilrathi. So we have to be careful we don't burn more of our consumable stores in getting to a place than we recover from it."

"Yeah, good point, Queen." Paz notes, nodding to herself. "Wait, sir, how many Marines do we have aboard?" she asks the screen, cocking her head slightly.

Confused… is not the word. SNAFU. FUBAR. BOHICA. They just begin to scratch the surface. "Any estimate of strength of hostile forces in the area?" Walsh asks, followed, in a much quieter voice, by "Or are we blind as well as stupid?"

"We've got an oversized company of marines onboard Majestic. Around two hundred. Maybe another hundred on the Salamis, and a handful scattered between the destroyers for security. Three hundred and fifty ground troops at our disposal, give or take a few. We're not going to be launching any frontal assaults, that's for sure" The Captain explains to Paz. With that said, he turns to Walsh. "The immediate area, at least, we've cleared out. It's the forces between us and the rest of the Confederation that are our concern. We'll be attempting to find out what we're up against just as soon as we can."

James glances towards Walsh, "We aren't stupid, we just have the incredibly bad luck to be in position to have to pay for the incompetence of others Ozone." mutters something about luring whoever is responsible for this disaster into a bar brawl after they get back.

Valdis at least seems to brighten up a little at the news about a lack of frontal assaults. After all, that's probably the first bit of good news that she's gotten since she had to scurry back out from the back of her transport.

"Not exactly my idea, sir." Paz replies, nodding a little. "What I was thinking is, a force big enough to hit this many systems simultaneously, they're bound to have support craft. Why not raid a few cargo ships?"

"We're still weighing all the options at this point," The Captain admits to the group. "If you've got suggestions, feel free to bring 'em by and we'll work them up and see how it turns out. We're going to need all the clever ideas we can get to get out of this one" he adds, pausing for a moment and adding. "That was all I had for you so far. It just… seemed fair to let you all know exactly where we stood, instead of leaving you in the dark."